It’s another one of those winter days in Israel. Unusually, we have not seen the sun – except for unsatisfyingly short intervals – for fifteen days straight! My flowerpots are so soaked, that there is water pooling around my cactus plant, which can’t be good. There is a darkness, a great weeping of the skies, over my land, whose mind and spirit are held captive in the equally dark, inhuman underground tunnels where Israeli hostages are still being starved, abused, raped, and murdered.
Apropos the information I sent out recently about the political motivations behind those leading the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, who are demanding “Bring Them Home Now,” at any cost, my friend Laurie sent me the transcript of an interview with one of the groups’ leaders, Abi Benyamin:
Interviewer: So, the hostages have to be returned at any price?
Benyamin: Any price
Interviewer: And if the price is having Netanyahu as Prime Minister for the next five years?
Benyamin: (long pause) Hard question.
Interviewer: Good question.
Benyamin: I don’t have an answer.
Why can’t we speed up our efforts to rescue them, since negotiations don’t seem to be going anywhere, Hamas leaders outside the country pressuring Sinwar to make more and more impossible demands. This Hamas-Nazi regime is determined to win an entire war on the backs of our kidnapped, their cowardly “soldiers” surrendering, hiding, and incompetently fighting only when they are sure they can shoot and scurry to safety. Not for them hand to hand combat. They are used to having women and children stand between them and IDF soldiers, who still help Gazan children and their mothers when they come across them in battle zones. I have the videos. When Hamas can’t find women and children, they rely on schools and booby-trapped religious institutions. Especially mosques.
According to intelligence collected in the field by the IDF and its soldiers during ground operations, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have embedded weapons storage facilities, tunnel entrances and operational gathering points in dozens of mosques in the Gaza Strip, which is why you keep seeing the mosques being blown up by our soldiers.
In documents collected by the IDF recently in Khan Yunis, the influence of Hamas on the religious leadership in the Gaza Strip goes deep, with a systematic infiltration into local religious leadership positions with the intent of promoting hate speech, instigating violence, and encouraging civilians to join terrorist groups. Gazan mosques have already been destroyed spiritually by Hamas, turned into places that spread hatred, violence, and death. The IDF has no choice but to destroy them physically.
Israeli forces have certainly made deep inroads into killing Hamas fighters. Division 98, which has been in Khan Yunis two months, expects to finish off the last remaining Hamas fighting divisions in the near future. But there are still 168 kilometers of underground tunnels left. Meanwhile, the battalion has found and destroyed Sinwar’s personal offices.
I can’t help feeling that the war would already be over, and our hostages returned, if we had more support from the American administration, which is already hinting that Israel should stop before Hamas is defeated, and should be satisfied leaving it a “reduced security risk” (as if!).
National Security Minister Ben Gvir, who is always described as “far-right,” and is in many ways IMHO an idiot, nevertheless said some pretty reasonable things in his Wall Street Journal interview, for which he is being roundly denounced. Opposition leader Yair Lapid and War Cabinet minister Benny Gantz both condemned his remarks, expressing concerns that he had damaged US-Israel relations. And Netanyahu basically told him that there is a time to say “yes” and a time to say “no” to our allies, and that he, Netanyahu, doesn’t need any help from Ben Gvir.
Ben Gvir told his WSJ interviewer: “Instead of giving us his full backing, Biden is busy with giving humanitarian aid and fuel which goes to Hamas.”
Hello? Everyone, especially the average Gazan, knows this is true.
Ben-Gvir further stated that if Donald Trump was in the White House and not Biden, the “U.S. conduct would be completely different.”
What, somebody out there doubts that? Since Trump isn’t dependent politically on jihadi Muslims in Michigan, he would certainly have more leeway.
But you are not allowed to say such reasonable things. No, you are a far-right fanatic if you suggest the Biden administration’s insistence Israel change its war tactics, pulling back numerous troops from Gaza in favor of a slimmed down Biden-approved force for “precision” attacks, is hampering our war efforts.
Earlier this month, Ben-Gvir spoke with Israel’s Kan public radio on the subject of voluntary emigration: “I think it’s the right solution.” Nikki Haley recently suggested something similar: “I have always said that what the Palestinians need is to move to pro-Hamas countries such as Qatar, Iran and Turkey.” Nevertheless, the Left howled, changing the narrative to “forced” immigration, which Ben-Gvir never suggested.
I fail to see what is so objectionable, in a world drowning in immigrants, for Gazans to pick a new home. Why not let Turkey, which never met a Palestinian terror entity it didn’t love, take some in? And then, when Hamas starts doing to Turkey what Hezbollah did to Lebanon, we’ll see how fast that that corrupt, Hitler-wannabee Erdogan, changes his tune.